Deek Duke Dazzles with Delectable Menu Additions
For nearly a decade, it was the neglected younger child, cast in the shadows of its wildly successful and growing elder sibling. As the firstborn flourished and expanded, the tiny tot remained humble and small, popular with a limited crowd. And then suddenly, as with all underdogs, it was discovered and exalted, and it started to blossom.
OK, enough with the extended metaphors. This isn’t the story of two plants, or even David and Goliath for that matter. This is the story of Roadster and Deek Duke and how the little guy went through a rite of passage to become the handsome budding diner it is today.
Few know that Deek Duke has assumed its Achrafieh-Tabaris perch since 2003. It would be another five years before a second outlet opened in Hamra, neighbor to Roadster in the Crowne Plaza complex. Another five years and Deek Duke would make its home inside two malls—City Mall Dora and Le Mall Dbayeh. Today a fifth branch is slated for Jbeil next to cousin restaurant Zaatar W Zeit.
Excellent news, because this place is good, and I mean really good, as in its popular hashtag #ChickenGoodness. I went for dinner a few weeks ago at the flagship venue and tucked into a slew of new menu items. I’m kind of at a loss of where to begin.
Health (and protein) addicts have cause to rejoice, for there is at last an appetizer option that is neither battered nor fried. The grilled chicken skewers (11,750 LL), reminiscent of satay, boast six tender, juicy, and plump strips of chicken breast with those infamous Roadster grill marks. On the side? A ramekin of a silky peanut butter dip that actually evokes the taste of a nutty honey. Trust me, guys, it’s not overwhelmingly thick or chunky like peanut butter is wont to be—it’s subtle and smooth and superb.
Perhaps my new favorite in the lineup is the Quinoa Booster (16,250 LL), a liberal portion of a salad featuring frisée lettuce, baby spinach, red and white quinoa, avocado, dried cranberries, almond slivers, and a huge helping of grilled halloumi cubes all tossed in a refreshing raspberry dressing. Make this a main, it’ll definitely sate your paunch.
The menu category benefiting from the greatest facelift is the burgers, as there are five newbies. First thing you’ll notice is the delicate, flour-powdered bun that's so airy, it’s merely a buffer between your fingers and that juicy chicken breast nestled inside. The Chicken Ranch (16,750 LL) is layered with grilled tomato and onion, Swiss cheese, lettuce and a ranch-buffalo dip combo.
The Cheese ‘n Chicken (18,750 LL) resembles a cordon bleu burger sans le jambon and is unquestionably a crowd pleaser. The signature DD garlic and mayo sauce gives it a delicious kick.
|Chicken 'n Cheese Burger|
If you’re looking for a carb-free fix, check out the Chicken Pesto Glory (23,750 LL), a platter of two chicken breasts shaped like hearts (borrowed from Roadster, no doubt!) sided by sautéed and grilled veggies—fresh carrots, broccoli and mushrooms—and a creamy pesto sauce. I’d have preferred a dairy-free sauce, as the pesto’s typically strong basil presence takes a backseat to the crème fraiche. Actually the ranch-buffalo dip would work wonders here.
|Chicken Pesto Glory|
If you’re an apple lover, you’ll adore the reinvented apple crumble (10,500 LL) showcasing warm fruit chunks in a sweet cream sauce topped with a dollop of vanilla and crushed biscuits.
|Apple Pie Explosion|
Don’t crucify me, but it was my debut dive into the Snow Biskey (8,500 LL), a cheesecake of sorts that swaps the cream cheese for vanilla ice cream and the traditional graham crust for lazy cake. The extreme contrast of textures is wonderfully palatable, and those swirls of fudge—devilish!